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This colorful quinoa and barley salad with dates gives you the energy boost that is sorely needed during the day. It’s the perfect way to get your daily dose of veggies and to be honest this salad is my favorite summertime meal as it keeps me refreshed and cool during the warmer months. This clean eating salad features two different grains with a hefty load of veggies, meaning it’s packed with protein and wholesome quality. Finally a salad that doesn’t make you hungry and perfect for a vegan Thursday, lunch or dinner.
This vegan salad combines several influences, the dates are an oriental touch, the pearl barley is a filling ingredient and brings local ingredients to the salad with the vegetables. Quinoa is a protein-rich grain from South America. When it comes to grain or seed-based salads, I tend to lean towards rice salad or quinoa salad. A while ago I also started using barley to make a grain-based salad. It might become one of my new favorites.
The reason I love grain-based salads is that they’re so filling and in all the right ways. They contain all the benefits of a fruit and vegetable salad, but you also get more volume with the grains. As a glutton, I love eating meals that fill me up and satisfy me without making me feel bloated or heavy. This quinoa and barley salad with dates does just that.
Ever cooked barley for salad?
There are two different types of barley (husked barley and pearl barley/pearl barley). For this salad we use pearl barley. It’s more processed, making it easier to find in grocery stores. Pearl barley also cooks faster than peeled barley.
To cook, put the grains and the water (or vegetable broth) in a pot, bring it to the boil, cover it and let it simmer gently. If you use pearl barley, it will cook faster (about 25 minutes) than peeled barley (about 40 minutes). You will know when the barley is ready when it has grown larger, soft and tough. If necessary, you can add water while cooking. Feel free to cook the barley to your desired texture. You can either let the barley absorb all of the water in the pot, or you can drain the water and drain the barley at the end.
When cooking barley for a salad, I like to rinse the barley in cold water right after cooking. This will cool them down, removing the released starch and also preventing it from cooking any further. The starch that barley releases into the cooking liquid makes it a great thickener for soups or for a pearl barley risotto.
Quinoa and Barley Salad
- Cook pearl barley and quinoa in lightly salted water according to directions.
- Allow cooked quinoa and pearl barley to cool in the refrigerator. Stir occasionally.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly. Drain well.
- Wash the pointed peppers, halve, deseed, remove the white membrane and cut into small cubes.
- If necessary, pit the dates and cut into small pieces.
- Wash parsley and shake dry. Then chop well.
- Also clean the spring onions and cut into fine rings.
- Core the tomatoes and cut into small cubes.
- Mix all ingredients with quinoa and pearl barley. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Let the salad stand for a while, then it tastes best.
- Enjoy your meal!
Pin this recipe for quinoa and barley salad with dates on Pinterest to cook later